About the author...
Tess Thompson is a novelist and playwright with a BFA in Drama from the University of Southern California. In 2011 she released her first novel, Riversong, which subsequently became a best seller.
Like her main character in the River Valley collection, Tess is from a small town in Oregon. She currently lives in a suburb of Seattle, Washington with her two young daughters, Emerson and Ella, and their puppy Patches. She is inspired daily by the view of the Cascade Mountains from her home office window.
Tess is working on her next novel and regularly blogs about her journey as a mother, author and friend at www.tesswrites.com.
Nothing is as it seemed in calm, quaint Legley Bay.
Famous novelist Constance Mansfield lived a seemingly straightforward – if private – and somewhat predictable life. Friends, beloved daughter Sutton, a beautiful home, and all the success an author could wish for. A perfect life….but was it?
When a hit and run accident suddenly takes her mother’s life, Sutton finds hidden secrets with her heartbreak. Emotional walls she assumed Constance had built to protect her privacy may have been to protect something – or someone – else entirely. Family and friends return home for support, including her own lost-love, Declan. He’s the first thing she craves to help her cope with her loss and the questions she’s left with, but he’s also the last person she wants to see. Will he be able to put down roots at last?
Can the loss of true love be the making of a life, or is it destined to be the undoing of everything? When money, power and love combine across time, anything is possible.
Tess Thompson is a new author to me and one I'll be seeking out again. This was the second book in a series and I did wonder if not having read the first one would pose a problem, but it didn't. Tea and Primroses sits well as a stand alone book.
Tess didn't seem to spend endless time re-capping - at least I don't think she did! We were straight into the story of Sutton, recently home from Paris to set up her dream shop and her mother, a reclusive author. Things start to unravel for Sutton when Constance, her mother is killed whilst riding her bicycle into town.
The contents of her mother's will and letters she had written in the event of her death are the catalyst for everything unravelling in this book and the story is then told a piece at a time in the form of a manuscript Sutton finds hidden in her mothers desk. Tea and Primroses is really a book within a book.
I forgot that this was supposed to be a mystery book as well as a romance because I was so engrossed with the story - just like Sutton reading her mothers story, I couldn't put the book down, wanting to find out what happened next and why. So it wasn't until near the end that I was jolted back to the mystery and for me the mystery was just an extra piece to the tale - the icing on the cake - not absolutely necessary but all the same very nice!
This is a story of love, hurt, friendship, loyalty and trust. About relationships and understanding what shapes people and makes us who we are - family and friends! It was emotional at times, so have a hanky ready and funny at others - a bit like real life really.
Watching Sutton develop and gain confidence as she gained knowledge was just lovely. This book also prodded home how important friends are, the people who know us warts and all and are still there when we need them.
I'd defy anybody to not read this in one sitting, an enjoyable read that has a bit of something for everyone in it - I'm looking forward to reading more from Tess Thompson in the future.
I gave this book 4/5 stars